Rummanah Aasi
   The Incorrigible Children of Ashton place is a tongue-in cheek, clever, and highly entertaining children series that can be enjoyed by both younger readers and adults alike. I definitely recommend picking up this series if you are looking for a fun read.

Description: Since returning from London, the three Incorrigible children and their plucky governess, Miss Penelope Lumley, have been exceedingly busy. Despite their wolfish upbringing, the children have taken up bird-watching, with no unfortunate consequences—yet. And a perplexing gift raises hard questions about how Penelope came to be left at the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females and why her parents never bothered to return for her.
   But hers is not the only family mystery to solve. When Lord Fredrick's long-absent mother arrives with the noted explorer Admiral Faucet, gruesome secrets tumble out of the Ashton family tree. And when the admiral's prized racing ostrich gets loose in the forest, it will take all the Incorrigibles' skills to find her.
  The hunt for the runaway ostrich is on. But Penelope is worried. Once back in the wild, will the children forget about books and poetry and go back to their howling, wolfish ways? What if they never want to come back to Ashton Place at all?

Review: The Incorrigible children of Ashton Place are back! The third book is in this highly entertaining series is filled with colorful characters, witty humor, adventure, and a touch of mystery. In order to fully enjoy the Unseen Guest, I highly recommended reading the first two books first in the series as Wood doesn't fully recap her story thus far. Readers are given tantalizing pieces of the puzzle concerning the children's origins and their connection to Miss Lumley and Ashton Place which continue to be cleverly revealed and well plotted throughout the story, creating just the right balance of light and dark aspects of the story.
  The Unseen Guest begins with the appearance of a stray ostrich, soon followed by the Widow Ashton and Admiral Faucet (pronounced Faw-say) who plans on raising, racing, and marketing ostrich as a means to a fortune. Faucet believes he has hit the jackpot with this brilliant new idea but just to be on the safe side he also has plans to marry wealthy Widow Ashton. Unlike the other adults who have adverse reactions to the Inccorigibles, Faucet is fascinated by them and believes they could be profitable to him if they were used as exhibitions in a traveling show. When Bertha the ostrich goes missing, he is mollified to have them lead the search in the nearby forest.
  Once back in the forest in which they were originally found, the children revert to many of their wolfish ways, much to Miss Lumley's chagrin. Though Miss Lumley and I loved seeing the Inccorigibles comfortably back home, it was painful to see them so cut-off from the rest of the world. Wood proves once again that she can cleverly use animals to highlight the great aspects of humanity when she has some awful characters. When Bertha is found and the Inccorigibles unharmed, all of Faucet's schemes come crumbling down with the appearance of Judge Quinzy. Or is it really the Widow Ashton's late husband? Quinzy/Ashton doesn't stick around long enough for a definitive answer, but his widow is convinced of his identity and cancels her engagement to Faucet. He departs, and readers are left with an epilogue that only whets the appetite for the next installment in this wonderful series. Good thing book 4 is only a few months away!

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: None. Recommended for Grades 4 and up.

If you like this book try: The Interrupted Tale (The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place #4), Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket, The Willoughbys by Lois Lowry
1 Response
  1. I've been so intrigued by these titles but haven't picked them up to read yet. I don't have any real middle graders though my 13 year old still picks up some MG. Still, it's a genre I love. I guess maybe I didn't get enough of it when I was that age. This series sounds so imaginative a little humorous a little mystery. I think I'd love it. Moving up the TBR list. Thanks for the review Rummanah!

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